Filing a personal injury claim is like running through an obstacle course. There are so many difficulties to surmount that you’re exhausted by the time you get to the outcome. The outcome itself is its own peculiar journey and there are so many factors that can affect the eventual settlement.
The extent of the injury sustained is one of the primary factors considered when the settlement of a claim is on the table. Your injury will be assigned a category, soft tissue injury or hard tissue injury. Soft tissue injuries are those sustained to muscles, joints, and tendons. Even though they may be quite painful, unfortunately, these will be settled at smaller dollar amounts than hard tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries often rely on the testimony of the victim to describe their level of discomfort.
Hard tissue injuries, on the other hand, are injuries that medical professionals have to certify are present. They are considered to be more “serious” injuries, ones that are likely to affect the patient’s mobility and function for a long time, perhaps even permanently.
Spinal and head injuries as well as broken bones are considered hard injuries.
As a rule, compensation for hard injuries is greater than compensation for soft ones. Contact a personal injury legal team, like the one at The Terry Law Firm, if you want to understand further how the extent of injuries. The greater the number of injuries the higher the medical bills are likely to be. Higher medical bills will also translate into larger claim payouts.
The Disruption Caused to the Patient’s Life
How much your injury affects your ability to carry on with your daily life is also weighed in when the outcome of your claim is being decided. If you are able to return to work or your regular schedule within days or weeks of your injuries, it will likely be decided that your injuries are not that severe and your compensation is likely to be lower.
When you can demonstrate that your injuries have had a significant impact on your ability to accomplish day-to-day tasks and show that this may carry into the future, claim settlements are likely to be larger. The ability to demonstrate mental and emotional anguish arising out of your injuries, as well damage to relationships and income-earning prospects will also push your compensation upwards.
Who Was at Fault?
A critical point in personal injury suits is the ability to demonstrate negligence. The more you are able to show it was the other party’s negligence that made you suffer this injury, the higher your settlement is likely to be. Insurance companies typically try to show a court that a victim displayed some measure of contributory negligence and therefore their compensation should be reduced.
Contributory negligence is the extent to which the victim’s behavior assisted in bringing about their injuries. This may seem unfair to you, especially if you are injured and in pain due to what you believe is somebody’s negligence. Unfortunately, the onus is on you to prove that you were hurt through someone’s negligence, whether it was ignoring the law or established safety regulations.
The Cost of Litigation
When you pursue a personal injury claim, you experience few upfront costs as your law firm usually works for free. This is based on the initial assessment of your case. If it is determined that you are likely to be compensated, then the claim is filed. However, the negligent party’s law firm and the insurance company will be looking for ways to reduce their costs since they will be paying money to defend themselves from the start.
Because of how high costs mount and how quickly, they will attempt to rush you into a settlement. It should be noted that if the case is likely to result in public embarrassment and damage to their reputation, they will attempt to rush to a settlement as well. A negative turn in public sentiment can result in a loss of business and profits which may be difficult to regain.
When the defending party has determined that the cost of settling with you early will be far less going to trial with all the above risk, they will try to get you to agree as soon as possible. It should be noted that the amount will be less than what you would have gained in compensation if you had let the matter go to trial.
If you are in the final stretch of a personal injury trial, your compensation amount should no longer be a mystery to you. These 4 factors should be able to help you determine what the outcome of your insurance claim will be.
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